Saturday Morning

Rowan and I have been on our own for the past few days, and I must say, we’ve been having a great time.  Here is a little peek into our Saturday morning:

Shortly after this video was shot, Rowan told me a story about making snakes out of play-play(play doh), that he was going to dice (I’ve been teaching him culinary terminology when we cook together) with Betty (the woman that cuts his hair).  Then he and his stuffed dog named Goog were going to run, run, run fast.

The End.

Oh yeah, his reaction to seeing this video of himself: “Super cute!”

I had a bad day

I make mistakes.  I mess up.  I’m so far from perfect, I’m practically human!

I didn’t blog yesterday, and for that, I am deeply apologetic.  Here’s why I didn’t blog yesterday:

MY DAY SUCKED! 

From the moment my feet hit the floor after a sleepless night, things started to go wrong.  I had a short reprieve from life when I took Rowan to the home school co-op that we volunteer with every Thursday.  Apart from a pounding headache, it was a good couple of hours. 

The moment we buckled our seatbelts and headed out of the driveway, my craptastic day picked up right where I had left off.  We eventually made it home, where the last thing I wanted to do was be around people.  That didn’t bode well, seeing how minutes after we returned, a group of people showed up at my door.

They left several hours later, and I got Rowan into the tub, fed him and my grandmother dinner, and got them both ready for bed, and then sat my self down to decompress.  I was interrupted by a phone call, whose sole purpose was to inform me that I was a horrible person.  I was grateful that my son was in bed, so I could take my verbal beating uninterrupted.

I hung up the phone, drained and feeling sorry for myself.  I dragged my exhausted body to bed, and just cried.  Again I was interrupted by a phone call.  This one was EXACTLY what I needed though.  Someone to listen, offer sound advice, and haul me back up onto my feet.  Michael, you are the sweetest, kindest, and most patient man.  Thank you for listening to my incoherent babbling.  You’re the best.  🙂

Today I woke up well rested, with a good attitude, and a willingness to let things go, and not take unkind and untrue words personally.  The sun is shining today, it’s warm, and I’m spending time with my favorite two year old in the whole world.  We’ve gone for a walk, eaten home made popsicles out on the patio, chased each other around the living room with baskets on our heads, and collapsed in a heap of giggles more than once. 

This is what  I know to be true: I am not perfect, and that’s okay, I’m still loved.  Bad days happen sometimes, and that’s okay, I’m still loved.  Perspective is important.  What people think of me is not.  Forgiving, even when it’s hard, is vital.  And most importantly, laughter is always, and I mean always, the very best medicine.

November 9th, 2010

As Rowan gets older, he’s been playing on his own a lot more.  One of his favorite things to do is take out all his train tracks, and set up elaborate scenes on the floor.  Here is one such scene:

Pretty impressive, huh?  Granted, I did help him with some of the logistics, but for the most part, this was built by Rowan alone.  Comparatively, he spends more than twice as much time building than actually playing with the trains.  It’s quite fascinating to watch!

Cotopaxi

 

By far, the hardest thing I have ever done, (besides give birth, and it’s really kind of a toss up) is climb Cotopaxi.  What in the world is Cotopaxi you ask?

Well, I’ll tell you.  Er…I’ll let the internet tell you.

Cotopaxi, rising 5,897 meters above sea level, with a base width of 23 km, is currently the highest active volcano in the world. It is located 80 km SSE from Ecuador’s capital: Quito, a city of 1,865,541, in the Northern Andean mountain belt.

Cotopaxi is a stratovolcano. These volcanoes are known both as the most picturesque and the most dangerous and deadly. This type of volcano is created from both explosive and effusive eruptions. It is combined of layers of tephra alternating with layers of viscous lava flows creating their steep-sided and symmetrical cone shape.  Like other stratovolcanos, Cotopaxi’s crater is relatively small compared to the size of the mountain.

Cotopaxi has had several recent violent eruptions, wiping out entire villages, creating massive lahars, pyroclastic flows, and ash covering hundreds of kilometers of land. The first documented eruption occurred in 1532-1524. Its most recent eruptions were in 1744,1768, 1877, 1903-1904, and a minor eruption in 1942. However since than it has remained active, with seismic activity being monitored around the clock, steam emissions noticed daily, and other signs of volcanic activity. In the 1877 eruption pyroclastic flows descended the sides of the volcano and lahars flowed further than 100 km into the Amazon basin and the Pacific Ocean”

SO! Back in February of 2004, I took myself down to Ecuador, met up with a friend, and we backpacked through the Andes, explored ruins, hung out in cities, and hiked up Cotopaxi.

The first day of the hike, you drive partway up to the refuge, where we had some food, and slept for a couple of hours.

Here we got briefed on how to use the safety gear, our climbing equipment, how to catch ourselves with our ice picks if we fell, and emergency protocols.  We also practiced climbing techniques.

This looks more impressive than it actually was. I wasn't too far off the ground. 🙂

You have to start climbing at midnight, so the sun doesn’t deteriorate the snow, so we set out when it was still dark.

Putting my crampons on

 

Of course my camera was lost just a couple of days before the hike, so all I had was a crappy disposable, but the following are pictures of the sunrise, about half way up, and a few of our descent.

This picture does not do the colors of that sunrise justice.

 

You can see the slope of the volcano on the bottom left corner. It was pretty steep!

 

That's me in the front. I'm tethered to the guide, behind me, and to my friend, Erin, taking the picture.

 

On our way down from the refuge. All that "dirt" is really ash.

This adventure is something I will always remember.  It was challenging, and difficult, and I couldn’t breathe, but WOW!   The views were unmatched, the feeling of accomplishment was unparalleled, and I have a really kick-ass story to tell.

We won’t talk about how I got pulmonary edema(altitude sickness), and my lungs filled up with fluid…

Fear

Being a mom is scary.  Nobody tells you that part.  You hear about the sleep deprivation, the never  getting a moment alone, the wanting to pull your hair out, and about the overwhelming amount of love.

Last night I had to take Rowan to the emergency room.  He was hardly breathing, and gasping for air.  He woke up from a nap in the middle of a severe asthma attack.  As soon as I heard that rattly gasp, followed by a weak cry, I knew what was happening.  I scooped Rowan out of bed, and had Bapa hold him while I set up the nebulizer.  Rowan cried through the breathing treatment, but I didn’t mind.  As long as he was crying, he was breathing. 

It didn’t take long to realize that the breathing treatment wasn’t working, and I made a very fast decision to take him to the hospital.  We loaded up in record time, and were on our way.  The entire time Rowan coughed and struggled to draw air into his lungs.  I wondered if I should have called an ambulance, but we made it.

Once inside it didn’t take very long for the triage staff to realize that Rowan needed attention right away.  We were in the waiting area for a grand total of two minutes, which is pretty much a miracle. 

Minutes after getting a room, they had Rowan started on another breathing treatment, followed by a round of steroids, which worked wonders.  He started breathing normally following the treatments, and even squeezed out a smile or two.  Untill it came time for the tests…x-rays, throat swabs, nasal rinse to test for RSV and flu.  Thankfully everything came back negative. 

Final diagnosis?  Asthma attack/viral croup.

By the time we were leaving the hospital, Rowan was playing tackle football, coloring, and being a general nuisance by peeking under the curtains of his neighbors.  It was apparent he would make a full recovery.

This wasn’t the first time he and I have been through this.  Last year, at about this time, he had a similar attack, though not nearly as severe.  It was heart-breaking and nerve-wracking to see my child suffer like that.  I didn’t know what was happening, if he was going to be okay, and what they were going to do to him.  In other words, I was scared.

Last year's trip to the emergency room.

The unknown is frightening, especially when it comes to their futures.  No parent wants their child to suffer-mentally or physically.  In the chaos of the moment showing fear is not an option.  It’s hard to assure Rowan that everything was going to be okay, when in reality, I wasn’t sure if it was. 

Loving someone so much is risky.  When all your love, energy, and time is poured into one little being, losing that being becomes your biggest fear.  They don’t tell you about that.  They also don’t tell you that despite how frightened you will get, it’s worth it.

NaBloPoMo

I’ve been informed that November in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo).  Who knew?!?  Everyone besides me, apparently!  I guess I’m supposed to do at least one post every day for the entire month of November.  I don’t know if that will actually happen (and yes, I’ve missed a couple of days already), but I will make a valiant effort!  My posts won’t always be an in-depth essay, they may just be a photo, a video, or a link to an article that I have enjoyed.  So, here goes!

As part of Rowan’s Halloween costume, I purchased a real child-sized tool belt.  It came with a very real, very sharp saw, that Rowan instantly became obsessed with.  For days he begged Bapa to show him how to use it, and finally on Sunday, after church, and before trick-or-treating, Bapa took Rowan down to the basement where they spent  a solid hour sawing through pieces of wood.   It was one of those guy moments that I’m really glad Rowan was able to have with my dad.